My first introduction to the Edison Pen Company was when it made the rounds on the various Pen Blogs a few years ago. The Edison Pen Company is an American custom pen making company founded by Brian Gray in 2007. The majority of Brian’s pens are custom produced – you pick your material and one of their designs and the pen is custom produced for you. Some models, like the Beaumont (which I have reviewed previously here) are production models, which are readily available through several retailers in a small number of material options.
I may have mentioned before, but when I first heard of the Edison Pen Company, I struggled to understand why a plastic pen would cost US$200. They looked so simple and acrylic didn’t seem like an expensive material. The pen reviews mentioned the build quality of Edison pens, but when you can’t see the pen in person and have no other point of comparison, its difficult to understand.
I received this model – the Pearlette – as a birthday present. This model was, at the time, one of Edison’s custom editions, meaning that the material, model, filling system, clip, nib can all be chosen and customised to the buyer’s specifications. This model is pretty basic – only the material was specified (Pearlized wine acrylic). The filling system (cartridge converter), Nib (steel Jowo medium) were all standard and included in the base purchase price.
The Pearlette is a small pen – both in length and width. Its comfortable for me, unposted, but I have small hands and I expect anyone with slightly larger hands may struggle to use it unposted. I wouldn’t recommend posting it either – the cap does not sit deeply on the pen body and I have accidentally flung the posted cap across the room (I swear I don’t make that many extravagant gestures!). Edison has a larger version of this pen – called the Pearl, which is both wider and longer. I suspect Brian and his associates would be willing to change the dimensions somewhat to fit your hand size (I know that there is a thinner Pearl), but if you wanted to do that, I would suggest asking Brian first. The Pearlette is so small, any changes would impact the aesthetics significantly.
Although Brian adjusts nibs prior to shipment, I had a few problems with the steel nib that came with the pen. I actually purchased a replacement from Richard Binder as well, but I also ran into issues with that. At the time, I reached out to Brian about the issue (Hard starting) and he offered to re-adjust the nib for me, if I sent it back, but being located in the US, it was cheaper to purchase a brand new nib than send this one back and forth to get it adjusted. In the end, as I got more experienced with fountain pens, I realised this was a baby’s bottom issue, which I was able to fix up with some fine grain micromesh.
Do I recommend this pen? Well, its difficult to say. On the one hand, I now understand the build quality differentiation between this and some other lower priced acrylic pens. But at the same time, it is an acrylic pen with a steel nib. For the price, you could get Japanese pens with gold nibs, the Lamy 2000 which has both a piston filler and gold nib. Any upgrade in filling system and nib material will come with an associated price increase and it can get pretty expensive, depending on what you want included. However, the pen can be customised to what you want, to a certain extent. So it would really depend on how much you want a customised pen. Its also worth noting, that if you fancy the Pearlette, there are now some production models available, which is significantly cheaper.
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